(b. 1646, Brignoles, d. 1704, Paris)

St John the Baptist Preaching

Oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Arras

Parrocel was famous in his own day as a painter of battle-scenes, but his purely artistic qualities are remarkable. He was trained mainly in Venice, where he seems to have studied the works not only of Tintoretto and Veronese, but also Fetti, Strozzi, and Jan Lys. The St John the Baptist Preaching shows a vivacity of colour, a brilliance of handling, and a dramatic use of light and shade contrasts which were completely contrary to contemporary French taste.

This canvas was painted as the May for 1694 for the Notre-Dame de Paris. The Mai was the picture donated each year by the goldsmiths' guild to the cathedral of Notre Dame.